$1 billion resort deal to drive Aqaba Tourism Development

Published May 5th, 2003 - 02:00 GMT
Al Bawaba
Al Bawaba

Jordan's Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA) has finalized the Aqaba Lagoon Tourism Site project which will result in a further $500-700 million investment in the development of tourism and leisure facilities in the zone.  


The deal, signed with preferred developer the Saudi Arab Supply and Trading Corporation (ASTRA), is to see the development of an integrated, multi-use leisure community with over 1,500 four and five star hotel rooms, 20,000 square meters of commercial space and over 800 residential units.  


The move comes as investors are focusing on Middle East opportunities following the Iraq conflict, according to ASEZA chief commissioner Akil Biltaji. “The return of confidence to the market has been swift, in part fuelled by the remaining high regional liquidity, and in part by the emphasis that this conflict has brought to the region. We are seeing more interest from foreign investors than ever before, and we intend to capitalize on that interest as much as possible,” he said.  


The Lagoon project will see a 250 meter-long stretch of sea front extended to 3,000 meters with the development of a man-made lagoon and marinas. Other components of the proposed development are to include golf courses, retail and commercial complexes as well as entertainment facilities.  


ASEZA is the statutory institution legally responsible for the organizational, administrative, financial and economic development of the Aqaba Special Economic Zone. Aqaba offers a unique set of commercial investment opportunities, being strategically located on the Red Sea and acting as a multi-modal freight/logistics hub for the region.  


Goods originating in Jordan are granted preferential entry into the United States market, duty free, and not subject to the quota system as Aqaba is governed by the Free Trade Agreement and the Qualifying Industrial Zone (QIZ) agreement with the US. — (menareport.com) 



© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)

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